8 November 2012

Gambia: Defence Requests Witness Identity

Senior private legal practitioner, Antouman Gaye, yesterday made an application at the Special Criminal Court, presided over by Justice Emmanuel Nkea, requesting to know the identity of a prosecution witness in a trial involving one Alieu Sarr, his client.

The application followed commencement of evidence received from the prosecution witness, who identified himself as a police officer attached to the Wellingara Police Station in Kombo North of the West Coast Region.

However, amidst adducing of his evidence in court, the defence counsel stood up for an objection, calling for verification of the identity of the witness and for his name to be on the list of witnesses to the case. "My lord, we are objecting to the witness giving evidence in the case as of now, because the name of this witness is not listed on the summary of witnesses in the case. Therefore, it would be proper and fit for this witness to stand down to enable us have access to his summary of evidence so as to enable us prepare our defence and also enable me talk to my client," Antouman Gaye demanded.

The presiding judge explained to the defence counsel that the summary of evidence of the witness was part of the additional summary of evidence received by the court. The defence counsel however insisted he never received the said additional summary of evidence, hence further urged the court to adjourn the matter and requested for the DPP to supply the defence with the said evidence.

His application was granted and the case was adjourned to 19th November for continuation. The judge urged the DPP to supply the defence with the said summary of evidence.

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